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How do I Become a Forensic Nurse?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A forensic nurse is an individual who has trained in nursing, usually becoming a registered nurse before going on to secure specialty training in forensics. To become a forensic nurse, a person usually completes the training required to prepare for a registered nursing career. This may involve earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing or securing a nursing diploma. After completing nursing education, an aspiring forensic nurse usually has to pass an exam in order to secure a nursing license. He may then go on to enroll in a forensic nursing certificate program or complete a master’s or doctoral degree with a specialty in forensics.

The duties a forensic nurse has depends on his unique job description. Forensic nurses are trained to deliver quality health care, just like other nurses, but their training prepares them for far more. These nurses are also trained to help in determining whether a victim has been injured because of the criminal acts of another party. They may also collect evidence from victims of sexual assault, investigate claims of abuse in medical care and long-term care facilities, and even help to examine the dead. Some in this field also consult with lawyers and law enforcement officials, providing expert testimony when needed.

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A person who wants to become a forensic nurse typically needs a high school diploma or an acceptable equivalent diploma in order to pursue this career. Often, a person interested in this field becomes a registered nurse first, which usually means choosing one of three preparatory paths. He may seek an associate’s degree in nursing, a bachelor of nursing degree, or a nursing diploma. After earning a degree or diploma in nursing, a person who wants to become a forensic nurse usually has to pass a jurisdiction-approved nursing exam. This exam is typically required in order for an aspiring nurse to gain a license to practice nursing.

Once an aspiring forensic nurse has become a registered nurse, he typically goes on to complete training in forensics. He may obtain it by pursing a forensics certificate, forensics degree, or a master’s degree in nursing, with a specialization in forensics. The training program he chooses may depend on his level of education thus far as well as the educational programs that are available in his area. Additionally, a person who wants to become a forensic nurse may seek certification with his jurisdiction’s nursing board or a similar authority.

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